Chinese demonstrators have protested outside Japan’s consulate in Hong Kong, angry at the arrest of 14 compatriots on islands claimed by both countries.
It is the latest example of deteriorating relations between Japan and its Asian neighbours.
The activists were arrested after planting a Chinese flag on the island in the East China Sea.
Hong Kong protester Elizabeth Quat said: “I feel very angry and I find this very unacceptable. We have three requests. We request the Japanese government to release our Hong Kong citizens immediately. Second, get away from our land. Third, (apologise) to all the Chinese people in the world.”
The mini-invasion is a reminder of how history continues to sour relations between the two nations. The Japanese made a ‘strong protest’ to the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo. The Chinese demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the detainees.
There was also a demonstration outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing.
The islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan are in rich fishing grounds, and have potentially enormous reserves of oil and gas.
It is for that reason that Taiwan has also laid claim to the land.
In an attempt to defuse the feud, Japan said it it would deport the activists after questioning ‘if they had done nothing else illegal.’